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  • America is now the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

  • America has passed the grim milestone of 20,500 deaths...

  • ...to overtake Italy as the world's worst-hit nation

  • Many blame the president for the scale of the crisis

  • These are the lonely times for a president

  • All the decisions come to you

  • And he's made just about all of them wrong

  • But the causes of America's failings in dealing with the virus...

  • ...run far deeper

  • Independent of Donald Trump, America is a country that always...

  • ...would have found fighting a pandemic to be difficult...

  • ...regardless of who the president was

  • When the novel coronavirus hit America...

  • ...President Donald Trump's administration was slow to act

  • Early on the president was, you know, reassuring Americans that...

  • ...things would not get so bad

  • We have it very much under control in this country

  • We had 12 at one point...

  • ...and now they've gotten very much better

  • He seemed to be worried about the stockmarket...

  • ...and its vacillations

  • And I think that there was a series of critical weeks...

  • ...in which the threat was underplayed

  • The administration's initial complacency...

  • ...was set to store up problems for the weeks ahead

  • There was a sense that we didn't need to develop...

  • ...the amount of ventilators that we had...

  • ...the number of personal protective equipment...

  • ...that could go out to doctors

  • And what we find now is that we're in the midst of...

  • ...kind of a national shortage of those things

  • On March 9th the Trump administration promised millions of test kits...

  • ...crucial to monitor the spread of the virus

  • Yet, by the end of the month...

  • ...only around 200,000 tests had been completed

  • This is a serious thing...

  • ...and right now the federal government is failing

  • But this failure wasn't entirely down to President Trump's inaction

  • Thousands of Americans may have been exposed to the coronavirus...

  • ...but have not been tested

  • The first tests created by the Centres for Disease Control...

  • ...a federal agency, didn't work

  • Private and academic labs around the country...

  • ...tried to develop their own tests...

  • ...but were initially hampered by strict regulations...

  • ...and a laborious approval process

  • That's a technical failing and a bureaucratic failing that...

  • ...perhaps could be laid on the president

  • But one of the things about America is that...

  • ...public-health authority is incredibly devolved...

  • ...to states and cities in terms of how they respond...

  • ...so that the federal government actually can't order these things

  • America's federal system grants states the authority...

  • ...to decide when and how to respond in a...

  • ...public-health crisis like this pandemic

  • And every state has responded differently

  • The state's 90m residents are being told to stay at home as much as possible

  • Faced with an escalating crisis...

  • ...the governor of New York announced a state-wide lockdown on March 20th

  • We're going to put out an executive order today...

  • ...New York state on pause

  • We need everyone to be safe...

  • ...otherwise no one can be safe

  • On the same day in Florida...

  • ...spring breakers were revelling on beaches

  • If I get corona, I get corona

  • At the end of the day, I'm not going to let it stop me from partying

  • Here, there would be no lockdown for almost another two weeks

  • During which time the virus continued to spread across the country

  • Some states called for non-essential businesses to be closed...

  • ...and for people to stay at home much earlier than others

  • The fact that borders remain open between the states...

  • ...complicates efforts at containment

  • While some states might have, kind of, shut down at this time...

  • ...you know, California, Washington, Oregon...

  • ...if a resident from there goes to Florida and then comes back...

  • ...you can see how it could exponentiate from there

  • That's the weakness of a system that relies on decision-makers...

  • ...in 50 states and numerous jurisdictions

  • A virus doesn't respect state lines

  • And efforts to halt the spread of the virus...

  • ...have been impeded by another aspect of America's political system

  • Democrats, what do they do?

  • They want to use a deadly virus as a political weapon...

  • ...against the president

  • Partisan politics are crippling America's response...

  • ...to the coronavirus pandemic

  • Politics has infected America's handling of the outbreak

  • Republican and right-leaning politicians...

  • ...have been slower to impose restrictions than Democrats

  • I am pleading with you...

  • ...to stay home

  • Stay home...

  • ...unless it is necessary for you to go out

  • Part of the reason that is...

  • ...it starts in cities, so it's taken off in...

  • ...places like New York and Seattle and California

  • And these are places that tend to have Democratic mayors...

  • ...tend to have Democratic governors

  • When political scientists, kind of, try and account for...

  • ...the rate of infection, how rural your state is and all the rest

  • They still see that...

  • ...Republican governors are slower to implement social-distancing measures

  • There is even evidence that Americans' adherence to the rules...

  • ...crucial to halting the spread of the virus...

  • ...is also being influenced by party loyalty

  • So you see, at least from what we can measure from cell-phone data...

  • ...Republicans seeming to take social distancing less seriously...

  • ...than Democrats

  • This blanket spread of shutting down businesses...

  • ...it's an economic disaster for Michigan and...

  • ...people are sick and tired of it

  • GPS data show that Democratic voters...

  • ...in the 2016 presidential election...

  • ...have cut travel more than Republican voters

  • In Hawaii where the majority voted Democrat in 2016...

  • ...people more than halved their travel in March

  • In Wyoming where the majority voted Republican...

  • ...travel actually increased slightly

  • It's supremely unhelpful for response to a virus to be...

  • ...politically polarised because the virus, obviously...

  • ...infects whomever it can

  • On April 11th America overtook Italy...

  • ...to become the worst-hit country in the world

  • The damage the virus is causing in America...

  • ...is compounded by the nature of its health-care system

  • American hospitals are a business...

  • ...much more so than in other parts of the world

  • There's no financial incentive for hospitals to...

  • ...have extra beds in the ICU, or extra ventilators, or...

  • ...extra pulmonologists who can specialise in intubation

  • Only 305 of America's 6,000 or so hospitals...

  • ...offer the most intensive treatment available

  • That's if patients even make it to hospital

  • Roughly 12% of Americans don't have health insurance

  • Around 23% of those who do have insurance are underinsured...

  • ...which means they could be hit with high charges

  • More than half of working-age people...

  • ...have health insurance through their employers

  • But now with over 20m Americans claiming unemployment...

  • ...many may lose that access

  • If you have more people afraid of getting treatment then...

  • ...you know, the mortality rate might be higher than it ought to be

  • All of those things mean that...

  • ...a pandemic would have strained the American health-care system...

  • ...quite a lot no matter who was president

  • The Trump administration has promised some help...

  • ...to those who don't have access to health care

  • Today I can so proudly announce...

  • ...that hospitals and health-care providers treating...

  • ...uninsured coronavirus patients...

  • ...will be reimbursed by the federal government...

  • ...using funds from the...

  • ...economic relief package Congress passed last month

  • Yet there are still a lot of unanswered questions...

  • ...about exactly what and who is covered by the federal fund

  • For much of America, the peak of the coronavirus pandemic...

  • ...is not yet in sight

  • On April 16th...

  • ...President Trump presented a set of guidelines on...

  • ...how and when social-distancing measures could be lifted

  • He made it clear that the next move...

  • ...is up to each individual state

  • Every state is very different

  • They need to remain closed we will allow them to do that

  • And if they believe it is time to reopen...

  • ...we will provide them the freedom and guidance...

  • ...to accomplish that task

  • Yet the president immediately undermined his own guidelines...

  • ...by showing support for a growing protest movement...

  • ...demanding an end to lockdowns

  • These are people expressing their views...

  • ...I see where they are and I see the way they're working

  • They seem to be very responsible people to me

  • Donald Trump has presided over, and done much to encourage...

  • ...America's disjointed response to the pandemic

  • The combination of an erratic president...

  • ...federalised government...

  • ...and a complex and fragmented health-care system...

  • ...means America's already high death toll...

  • ...will continue to mount

  • I'm Idrees Kahloon, I'm the US policy correspondent for The Economist

  • I've been writing about how coronavirus has been...

  • ...affecting Americans of all stripes

  • If you want to read more of our coverage you can see the link beside me

America is now the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic

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B1 中級 美國腔 武漢肺炎 新型冠狀病毒 新冠肺炎 COVID-19

Covid -19:為什麼美國的死亡人數如此之高?| 經濟學家》雜誌 (Covid-19: Why is America’s death toll so high? | The Economist)

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    Stellavt 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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